- Four leading courseware development tools have adopted the specification, putting the creation of xAPI statements within reach of the average elearning instructional designer/developer. Adobe Captivate, the DominKnow suite, Lectora, and Articulate Storyline all offer publishing capability for xAPI. They each provide a basic level of page and interaction tracking via xAPI, with DominKnow and Lectora offering even more flexibility around the creation of activity statements.
Real world example: ZingTrain, the training and consulting arm of the Zingerman's Community of Businesses, is building customer service training modules for their employees and to sell to their clients. The courses ask the learners to take what works well in Zingerman's food-centric business and make the necessary tweaks for it to apply to their own work, which could be in any industry. As the learners work their way through the material, they respond with the terminology that is suitable to their role. The course sends xAPI activity statements to the LRS for each screen view, each video view, and each interaction as part of its out of the box functionality. In this case the course will also send the response to each of the personal application questions. ZingTrain will then be able to use this data to get a better understanding of the language and usage of the concepts in their clients' worlds and adjust this and future offerings accordingly. (Note: We are building out this course in both Adobe Captivate 9 and in DominKnow Flow as a comparison of two different approaches to the mobile experience. Stay tuned for the grand reveal of the two projects in this blog. The screenshot below from Adobe Captivate 9.)
- LMSs are integrating LRS capabilities alongside their SCORM engines, making it easy for organizations to adopt xAPI without an additional capital outlay or the disruption of switching learning platforms. The leading LRS-alone platforms are moving ahead full steam (Wax LRS, Watershed, Learning Locker, and Grassblade), allowing organizations to assemble a best-of-breed learning experience that all reports back to a single data source. Now LMS providers are adding integrated xAPI capability as well, alongside their existing SCORM and AICC support. Whereas a software selection process in 2015 for an integrated LMS/LRS was limited to a very short list of progressive providers (LearnShare, RISC, OnPoint Digital), the bigger players are working on their xAPI capability right now. 2017 will show a far different landscape.
Real world example: Why do you care about integrating LRS and LMS functionality? Because many organizations rely on the course catalog, enrollment, search and reporting functions their LMSes offer. When we have access to and collection of more and more data, reporting becomes the secret weapon, the killer app, the super power that the L&D team needs to wield next. At the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, iBeacons identify student visitors to the iPads placed next to key exhibits. Throughout the students' interactions with the exhibit, the app on the iPad uses xAPI statements to capture data about their interactions, their responses, the time spent on each activity, and the curriculum standard related to the exhibit's science topic. This program uses the LRS embedded within the Museum's LearnShare LMS and leverages its geek-free custom report wizard to query and display details about the interactions. Museum staff have access to use their data without having to ask their vendors for reporting assistance.